After school the 6th – 8th grade youth gathered in the Rec Center for our Fall Sports Awards. Student athletes were recognized for achievements in cross country, football and volleyball.
Besides the awards for the best athletes in those sports, I am always touched by the acknowledgement of the kids who have the best attitude, make the most improvement and show leadership by their teamwork.
While being a little competitive is a good thing, I hope the sports and activities here teach our young people teamwork and the importance of preparing, practicing and working hard especially when the odds are against you.
We were visited by consultants from a group called Child Trends to help us look at our programs and how we try to measure the positive impact we have on our Native American youths’ lives. We keep track of lots of statistics, but grade point average, attendance and the number of times called to the principal’s office don’t give an adequate picture of the well-rounded approach we are trying to offer. We try to educate for life, body, mind, heart and spirit, so need to find ways to see if we are successful in all those areas. Many seem quite intangible. We also had good discussion about the importance of culture and in particular, giving our students a sense of pride in their Lakota (Sioux) heritage. They will spend a couple of days interviewing staff and analyzing programs. I am interested in seeing what some of their observations and recommendations are.
Our girls 7th and 8th grade volleyball team played matches against Chamberlain this evening. Though it was as “away” game the bus trip only took about 5 minutes. We came out on the losing end of two close matches that went the full 3 sets before a winner was decided. Our teams played hard and showed good sportsmanship.